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Last updated: 22 July 2021

Biomass Boiler Grants

How Do Biomass Boiler Systems Work?

Biomass boiler systems burn wood in different shapes - pellets, logs or chips - to produce heat for your home. Because wood is considered a renewable, sustainable source of energy, biomass boilers are considered an eco-friendly option and are therefore eligible for the government scheme called the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Below you will find information about how the scheme works and how much you can save by installing a biomass boiler.

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Why Invest in a Biomass Boiler?

A biomass boiler is a wood burning system that produces heat or hot water through biomass fuel. This wood chip boiler system has many advantages:

  • Wood is a renewable source since it’s relatively easy and quick to grow trees or plants.
  • Biomass is also considered carbon neutral because the same carbon dioxide emitted by the burning process is later reabsorbed by growing trees.
  • Prices for biomass fuel are more stable than those of gas and oil, and usually cheaper. However, prices also depend on how far from you the suppliers are. The best way to take advantage of biomass boilers is to fuel them with your own waste wood so that the system is completely sustainable and you can dispose of your waste in a productive way.
  • Compared to electric systems, a biomass boiler can help you save up to £880 a year on heating bills.

Financial Support for Biomass Boilers

By producing heat with a wood boiler or pellet stove you could be eligible for payments under the UK government scheme called the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Payments are made for 7 years depending on the amount of renewable heat generated by your heating system. You will be receiving biomass boiler grants through the Domestic RHI scheme (there are different schemes in place for businesses, public and non-profit organisations). The current payments range from £327 to £1,635 per year, depending on the heat demand; an average UK household is granted £1,200.

Renewable Heat Incentive - A guide to the Domestic RHI

You can apply for biomass boiler grants if you live anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales, while there’s a separate scheme to help with the installation of renewable heating systems in Northern Ireland (through NI Direct). You must either own your home or be a private or social landlord. New-build properties will not normally be eligible for biomass boiler grants unless you’re building your own home.

You should be aware of a few more things before you apply:

  • Biomass fuel used by RHI participants must always be sourced from a supplier on the Biomass Suppliers List at the time of purchase. Check if your choice of company is on the list of suppliers of sustainable biomass fuel.
  • Before you decide to enter long-term supply contracts, make sure to check whether your fuel supplier is registered in the Biomass Suppliers list.
  • Even if your supplier is registered to the Biomass Suppliers list, it doesn’t guarantee that all of the fuels they supply are sustainable, since they might be offering different types of fuels. Check with them which of these fuels are registered and truly sustainable.

Another opportunity to reduce your biomass boiler costs is the new VAT reduction on energy-saving products. This only applies to wood-burning boilers, though.

If you are over the age of 60 or are receiving income or disability benefits, you could qualify for a 5% VAT reduction

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Biomass Boiler Costs

First of all, it is relevant to say that there is some difference between biomass stoves costs and biomass boilers costs.

Cost Efficient Wood Pellets for Biomass Boilers

The cost of a domestic biomass pellet stove, including installation costs, will be around £4,300. A new log stove usually costs less than half this price, including installation and a new flue or chimney lining.

An automatically fed pellet boiler for an average-sized home usually costs between £9,000 and £20,000, including installation, flue, fuel store, and taxes, while manually fed log boiler systems can be slightly cheaper.

The cost of a new boiler depends on the fuel (pellet) costs, which in turn depend on the method of delivery, the distance from the supplier, and the quantities you are buying. Of course, the cheapest way to go is buying in bulk: that way you can keep the cost down to around £220 per tonne in most of the UK, but you will obviously need a large storing space. Choosing a local supplier close to you will keep delivery costs and carbon emissions to a minimum.

Logs can be cheaper than pellets but costs depend on local suppliers, as they can be very expensive to transport. Unseasoned logs are cheaper, but you would need space to store and season them for a year before you can use them.

Biomass Boiler Savings

Biomass boilers can help you save a significant amount of carbon emissions—up to 15.4 tonnes a year—when you replace a solid / coal-fired system or electric storage heating with a wood-fueled boiler.

Financial savings are more variable depending on the system you’re replacing: if you replace an old gas heating system with a wood-burning system, you might only save £70 a year, but if you are replacing an old electric heating system you could save as much as £880 per year.

Basic insulation is a must for the heating system to work properly and give you substantial savings.

Existing System Fuel Bill Savings (£/year) CO2 Savings (kg/year)
Electricity 490-880 9,700-15,700
Oil 130-140 5,600-8,200
LPG 970-1390 5,300-7,800
Coal 300-460 10,100-15,400
Gas 10-70 4,600-6,800

Interested in Investing in a Biomass Boiler?

If you think a biomass boiler could be a good solution for you, you can start your search for suppliers right here. Instead of starting a lengthy research for options, you can simply fill in the form at the top of this page to receive up to 4 quotes from our trusted suppliers. This service is completely free and non-binding to you, so you can benefit from quick, personalised information with no obligations.

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